As expected, Chief Justice Roberts has declined to preside at the Senate trial of President Trump. Roberts is not required to preside because Trump is not the president. Clearly, he wants no part of the proceeding.
You might think that, in Roberts’ absence, Kamala Harris would preside. After all, as vice president of the U.S., she is president of the Senate.
However, the “honor” will go instead to Sen. Patrick Leahy, the president pro tempore of the Senate. Leahy is 80 years old.
Without Roberts, the trial will lack the solemnity and dignity his presence would have provided. With a Democrat in charge, the proceeding will look like what it is — a vindictive partisan exercise (in futility, to boot).
The Democrats may believe that Leahy will be a dignified presence. If so, they are buying their own BS. Leahy might be more dignified than Kamala Harris, but that’s a very low bar.
When Leahy ran the Senate Judiciary Committee, I watched him run more hearings than I care to remember. He was always a nasty, partisan operator — indeed, Jay Nordlinger of National Review named Leahy “the nastiest Democrat.”
Leahy couldn’t help being that way then, and I doubt he can help it now, at the advanced age of 80.
He’s the perfect face for this trial.